Former World No. 1 Maria Catalano wants transgender snooker women’s champion Jamie Hunter barred from competing.
This comes after Jamie Hunter became the first transgender player to win a women’s ranking tournament. In the final of the US Women’s Open at the Ox Billiards Club in Seattle, she defeated Rebecca Kenna 4-1.
Her victory has exposed her to more criticism and abuse than she was previously exposed to, with Catalano calling for her to be banned, claiming that hunters’ involvement in women’s affairs is unethical.
Catalano said: “I would say 90 per cent of the players on the Women’s Tour don’t agree with this. I don’t believe that women can compete against men on a level playing field in sport. We are wired differently, we think differently. We are mentally different.”
“And I do believe 100 per cent there is an advantage there even in snooker after transition.There is a reason why they started a women’s tour. Reanne Evans is the best woman player I have seen and even she can’t crack it against the men – it just hasn’t happened.
“I would like to see the rules tightened up in our sport. As a man Jamie never really did anything. And if this is allowed and becomes more common, there is no future for women’s snooker.
“I don’t want to see the end of women’s sport, it has been too hushed up. I would totally change the rules, and bring ours into line with women’s sports that have banned transgender athletes.”
Hunter responded to Catalano’s outburst explaining she’s only here for the ‘betterment of the sport’ and not ‘to ruin it.’
“I would say to Maria, or other top players with concerns, that I didn’t wake up one morning and decide to play women’s snooker because I wasn’t very good playing the fellas.” She said.
“I never played competitive snooker as a man in the amateurs, I only played local league to go out for a drink with my friends. I have only taken it seriously for the last 12 months, and I have been a woman for nearly three years.”
“There are also a lot of people who just don’t really understand it. If she or anyone else wants to talk about it, I am always willing to do that, and help educate people. I want the women’s tour to grow as much as anyone, because I love the sport as much as the next person.”
“If Maria is upset it is disheartening and saddening, but I’m there to help grow it, not ruin it. I’m not there to tear it down, but to build it up. I want the tour to prosper.”